Following the announcement of the Prime Minister’s plans for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement this week, it has been reported that I handed in a letter of ‘no confidence’ to the Conservative party’s 1922 Committee, writes Ben Bradley MP.
In truth I actually submitted my letter several weeks ago.
I have largely avoided talking to national media on the subject, but I owe it to local people to explain this decision.
I can’t in good conscience support this proposed Withdrawal Agreement.
It seeks to tie us in to a customs union that we cannot leave without the EU’s permission.
That is giving away control over our economic future and trade plans.
This customs union prevents us from doing meaningful trade deals with other countries and therefore diminishes the potential benefits of leaving the EU.
As well as this, having different arrangements for Northern Ireland both breaks the PM’s own red lines and provokes a constitutional argument about the devolved nations.
I can’t support a plan that could lead to the break-up of the UK.
There are also significant problems around the role of European courts, and in ongoing alignment with a number of EU rules for another decade or more.
It simply is not ‘taking back control’ as we were promised.
It’s not something I can support.
The Prime Minister has made it incredibly clear to MPs over the last month or so, and more publicly in recent days, that she will not give an inch on this.
That means that the only way now to reach a deal that works for the UK is to change the Prime Minister.
That’s not something I take lightly, but it is clear that we cannot bury our heads in the sand and simply wait for her plan to fail in Parliament in a month’s time.
Something has to give.
That is why I handed in my letter last month, whilst we still have the opportunity to take this in a different direction under a leader who genuinely believes in the positive opportunities that Brexit can bring.